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My name’s James, and I’m a graduate at the Australian Government Department of Health. How did I end up at Health? I majored in environmental studies at University, which you might not think is particularly relevant to the job, but Health looks for graduates with all kinds of skills, from lawyers to writers, designers and policy makers.

Because I didn’t have a clear idea of how I wanted to use what I’d learned at University, I saw the grad program as a chance to explore a variety of options for my career.

One of the best things about the grad program is that you undertake three rotations in your first year. Each rotation is in a different area of the Department’s work. This is a great way to find out what kind of work suits you and your areas of interest, especially if you don’t have a strong idea after graduating.

Being at the start of my career, having diversity in the work I’ve been exposed to has given me a clearer sense of where to go from here. The Department is also very supportive of allowing grads to progress in areas that interest them, so I know I’m building skills that will set me up for the future.

The other big plus for me is being involved in work that positively affects the lives of everyday Australians. It’s nice to go home at the end of the day and know you’re making a difference. Being a grad opens doors too. You get to meet people at different levels of the Department and in different areas, and that’s good for making friends as well as for your career.

The lifestyle that comes with working here is also great. It’s a flexible work environment that can take into account your responsibilities outside of work. And some people might disagree, but I like Canberra. I grew up here and decided to move back after Uni. It’s changed a lot in recent years. There are great restaurants, small bars and the lifestyle is relaxed. Combined with good, affordable housing and virtually no commute, it’s hard to pass up.

For me, the decision to apply to be a grad at the Australian Government Department of Health was easy, and I’m glad I made that decision. I’ve been given access to a variety of work that’s helping me develop my skills and advance my career. Even better, the work I do here genuinely affects the lives of everyday Australians.

My advice, apply now.

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James describes his experience with our graduate program.